The netSpend prepaid Visa or Mastercard gives you all the convenience of a debit or credit card, without the risk.

Since it is funded by your own money, there’s never a chance of going over your limit or paying overdraft fees and penalties.

And it’s convenient. You can even have all or part your paycheck automatically deposited. You simply print out our form and give it to your employer. Social Security and other government checks can also be deposited directly, saving you from the risk of mailbox theft.

When you want to use cash to load your netSpend card, simply take your card along to participating grocery or check cashing stores. You’ll find a complete list of locations on our website. The money is then available to use within minutes.

Transferring from a checking or savings account, or from PayPal, is easy too. However, those transfers do take 2-4 days to process.

So why would you want a prepaid debit card?

A card is safer than cash. If your cash is stolen,it’s gone,but if your prepaid Net spend debit card is lost or stolen, you’re protected from unauthorized transactions. And since credit / debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere now, it’s just as convenient as cash.

The next benefit is shopping and paying bills on line, which affords you the safety of instant acknowledgement when the bill is paid. No more putting a check in an envelope and hoping it reaches it’s destination on time.

Plus, the money you don’t spend will earn interest. With netSpend’s Savings Plan, you can earn 5% APR on your money.

NetSpend prepaid debit cards give you safety, security, and convenience. And, we’re proud to say that our exceptional service is making our business grow. Inc. named netSpend as one of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the U.S. today.

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If you were born after 1980 you probably take the existence of credit cards for granted. You’ve been seeing them in use your entire life. But in the larger scheme of things, they really are a recent development.

Credit cards were first issued by oil companies and department stores in the early 1900′s – to be used only at their own establishments. Rather than offers of long-term credit, these cardboard or metal cards were a convenience for customers who then paid the entire bill at month’s end. Thus they were really “charge cards” rather than “credit cards.”

1946 saw the first bank-issued charge card, restricted only to customers of John Biggin’s bank in Brooklyn, and good only at local business establishments. In 1951, New York’s Franklin National Bank issued a similar card for account holders only.

Diner’s Club was introduced in 1950, as a convenience for frequent travelers and entertainers. The first cards were issued to 200 select customers who could use it at 27 New York restaurants.

By the next year, cardholders numbered 20,000 and the card was more widely accepted. Diner’s Club claims the title of the first credit card in widespread use. This too was technically a charge card rather than a credit card, as the bills were due in full each month.

Meanwhile, Federal Express, which specialized in money orders and traveler’s checks, had been considering offering a similar card. When Diner’s Club was formed, American Express put their own plans into action and in 1958 launched their purple card for travel and entertainment. In 1959 they introduced the first card made of plastic. Again, this was technically a charge card.

The first revolving-credit card – the kind we take for granted today – was issued by the Bank of America, only in the State of California in 1959. By 1965, the bank saw the potential for more earnings, and began licensing the card to banks across the country. This was known as the BankAmericard Program.

Business was booming, so in 1967 four California banks had formed the Western states Bancard Association and introduced competition to the BankAmericard Program – the MasterCharge. By 1969, most independent bank charge cards had joined either the BankAmericard or MasterCharge programs.

Because these growing businesses wanted to expand into the international market, the name “America” was a problem. So in 1977, BankAmericard became Visa. In 1979 MasterCharge also changed its name, becoming MasterCard.

The credit card industry now has 5 major players:
Visa International
American Express
Diner’s Club

Visa, the card that started the rush toward revolving credit, is still the leader, with over one billion cards in use and carrying more than half of all credit card transactions worldwide.

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Current by Discover®

18 January 2010

Current by Discover® is the perfect credit card to set your teens on the path to responsible money management – but with some parental controls built in to keep them safe.

The Current card is a pre-paid card that gives your teens the freedom to spend as they wish – within boundaries. Parents can set up weekly spending limits and block charges at any category of retailer, or the ATM machine.

The card can be loaded by transfers from a parent’s account, and working teens can have their paychecks automatically deposited. They’ll even receive an email notice when the funds are in the account. They can even set up their account to alert them when they’re nearing their weekly spending limit.

Current Cards are safer than cash for teens – who are likely to leave a purse or wallet unguarded. If the card is lost it can be deactivated until it is found –keeping their money safe from unauthorized use. Of course, as with all Discover® Cards, fraudulent charges are covered if the credit card used before the loss is discovered.

While most kids can go through cash and never know where it went, the on line money management tools offered by the Current credit card lets them see just where their money is going. This can be a valuable teaching tool for parents and an aid for teens learning to live within a budget and make wise spending choices.

Of course, since it’s for kids, it has to be cool as well as useful. That’s why the Current Card offers 7 unique credit card styles designed just for teens. It’s also why teens get free access to discounts and deals at the stores they love most.

Let your teens learn sound credit management in the safety of parental controls – get them a Current Card by Discover®.

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Careful credit card management could mean the difference between qualifying for a home mortgage and not qualifying. And, when you do qualify, it can mean a difference of a point or two in the interest rate you’ll pay.

Why? Because the way you handle credit cards has a large influence on your FICO scores. And your FICO scores are one of the three most important determining factors when you apply for a home mortgage.

Monthly income and the stability of your employment are the other two factors.

If you’re thinking of a home purchase, now is the time to get a copy of your credit report and check your scores. Even if you pay all of your bills on time, the way you handle credit cards could be pulling your FICO scores down, and if that’s the case, you need to take some steps.

First, check your current card balances against your credit lines. If your balances are over 30% of the credit line on any one card, they are pulling your scores down. To correct this, you can do one of three things:

Ask your credit card issuers for a credit line increase – but don’t use it
Move your balances between cards so that each shows less than 30% of the available credit.
Choose and apply for a new credit card, then don’t use it except to transfer balances.

It seems silly that you can owe the same amount of money and move it around to increase your credit scores, but that’s the formula.

Misinformation to disregard:

When mortgage lenders attempt to counsel their customers on how to raise credit scores, some of them make a big mistake. While they are correct in telling customers to pay down debt, some also counsel people to close unused credit card accounts. This is a bad idea and will actually lower your scores.

The FICO formula wants to see that you are using only a small portion of the credit available to you. If you close an account you reduce that available credit.

Also, as nice as it is to pay less interest, it is a bad idea to move all of your debt to one card with lower interest – unless you can move it and still remain under 30% of your available credit on that card.

Of course you should pay every credit card billing on or before the due date – and if you pay on line, be sure you pay by the correct time of day if you pay on the due date. Payments made after a set time of day are posted the following day and will trigger both a late charge and a late notice on your credit report.

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The Chase Sapphire® credit card is the obvious choice for those who love to travel or to shop on line. That’s because Chase Sapphire® gives you access to Ultimate Rewards™

While every purchase gives you a point per dollar, you’ll get 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible flights purchased through the Ultimate Rewards Booking Tool. AND when you shop on line at select merchants through the Ultimate Rewards Mall, you get up to 10 bonus points for every dollar you spend. With over 3 million products to choose from, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for!

What can you buy with points? Anything you want. You can buy what you please with your Chase Sapphire® credit card and pay for it with points. Since your points are unlimited and never expire, you can even “save up” for something really spectacular.

Travel is a breeze when you book through our All-in-one travel center, and you have the flexibility to pay all or part of your travel expense with points, while earning double points on your purchase. In addition, when you use your card, Chase has you covered with Travel Accident Insurance, Trip Delay and Lost Luggage Reimbursement.

Travel service is just the beginning – you can call 24 hours a day to speak with a live representative, and our concierge service will help you with everything from finding a good restaurant to locating the perfect gift, to getting seats at exclusive sporting and entertainment events.

With no annual fee, a grace period of at least 20 days when you pay your balance in full each month, and a low variable APR of Prime Plus 8.99%, the Chase Sapphire® card represents smart money management from start to finish.

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Now that banks want to cut back on lending, they’re lowering credit lines for even their most reliable cardholders – and they’re closing unused accounts.

While that might seem OK to you – because you don’t want to use the card and go farther into debt – it really isn’t OK. Your credit score is compiled from many factors, and one of them is the amount of unused credit you have available to you.

Thus, when a credit card account is cancelled, your available credit goes down – and so does your credit score.

The best thing to do – take that card out and use it now and then. And when the statement arrives, pay it in full. That will keep the card active without costing you any money in interest payments. So use it for something you would have purchased anyway – such as groceries or gasoline.

According to a Reuters article in December, the credit card industry plans to cut more than $2 trillion in credit lines over the next year and a half – that’s a 45% decline in the total credit available to consumers.

One reason credit card companies want to close your dormant accounts is that it costs them money to keep an account on the books – and if you aren’t spending any money, that means they’re going in the hole by keeping your account open.

Don’t give them an excuse – use it just often enough so you don’t lose it.

Identity theft is a second reason to use your card…

Most of the time, if you have no current balance and you had no balance the previous month, your credit card issuer won’t send a statement. Thus, a person using your identity would have no problem in contacting the card issuer, having “your” mailing address changed, and using the card until the credit limit was reached.

Since the bills would be going to a different address, and since you wouldn’t be expecting a bill for a card you weren’t using, this could go on behind your back for months.

You wouldn’t know that you had unpaid accounts until you attempted to get credit yourself and learned that your good credit wasn’t so good any more.

That’s why credit experts advise that you regularly check your credit report and/or enroll in a credit alert service.

Since identity thieves like to zero in on those unused accounts, use your card at least every other month, so the use shows on your credit report. Doing so will make that credit card less attractive to would-be thieves.

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Do you like to buy lottery tickets? Using this credit card is even better than buying a lottery ticket, because you don’t have to pay to enter.

Every time you use your American DreamCard™ you get one entry for every $1 you spend – up to 1,000 per transaction. The monthly sweepstakes jackpot grows with the amount of money spent on purchases by the American DreamCard® holders. This is the first and only “Pooled Rewards™” Credit Card.
Of course you don’t have to be a big spender, because just one entry could win, but the more entries the better, so you’ll get 1,000 entries just for applying for this credit card. You’ll get 50 more entries when you refer a friend, and another 1,000 when they get their new card.

The current Sweepstakes begins on 10/01/09 and ends on 9/30/10. And while new winners are drawn each month, your entries do accumulate and roll over to the next month. All current entries will expire as over 10/01/10, and a new Sweepstakes will begin.

Annual fees range from Zero to $59, depending upon your credit. Variable APR’s for purchases are currently at 14.99% and 21.99%. Cash advance APR’s are a variable 22.99% and 28.99%. Rates are subject to change as the Prime Rate changes.

The American Dreamcard® grace period for purchases is 20 days after the close of the last billing cycle, provided you pay your bill in full each month.

When you use this credit card and pay in full each month, it’s like getting hundreds, or even thousands of lottery tickets – absolutely free.

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